Microsoft Resisting Same Day Digital/Disc Releases

It’s a small thing, but annoying nonetheless: the fact that you have to wait months before a digital version of an Xbox 360 game is available for download on XBLA. I know it is at least for me – Sometimes the difference between me giving money to someone, and not giving money to someone, is my current willingness to venture out to a game retailer. Too bad for me I guess, because while Sony has recently experimented with making digital downloads on PSN available the same day a game launches in stores, Microsoft has no intention of following suit, at least for now.

“We don’t do Games on Demand on day one, we focus on boxed retail for day one,” said Xbox Live UK product manager Pav Bhardwaj to MCV. “That’s where our focus has always been and will remain that way for the foreseeable future. We release a game roughly six months after it arrives at retail at full ERP. That’s our model and we’ll be sticking to that. It’s a successful model, so why change something you don’t need to?”

“It comes down to choice,” Bhardwaj also said, referring to their model. “The customer has the choice of going to retail on day one if they really want to buy a particular title, or to wait a couple of months and buy it full price from the Xbox Live marketplace.” That’s true. It does come down to a choice. But it seems odd that they would prefer to lose a bit of money on the sale due to the retailer’s cut when they can cut them middleman out and keep the full amount. But… “It’s a successful part of our business, we’re very pleased with the growth and it continues to do really well. Clearly there’s an audience out there who are happy to purchase a product at full ERP six or so months after [its retail release].”

So there you have it, true believers. No convenient not-having-to-visit-Best Buy/Wal*Mart/GameStop/Etc for you! At least if you’re buying for Xbox 360. This is, however, probably for the best. Microsoft, of all the console makers, probably has the biggest interest in locking down games with hell of DRM. A switch to same-day digital downloads would almost certainly be a toe-dipping in the water of digital only. Hopefully, this is a hint that Microsoft isn’t planning for the Xbox 720 to be a used-games killer.

And for the record, Microsoft is still better than Sony on one aspect of this issue: You can actually get Xbox era games for download on 360. It is still not possible to download Playstation 2 games on PSN, and that, my friends, is total bullsh*t.

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7 Comments on Microsoft Resisting Same Day Digital/Disc Releases

user

On April 30, 2012 at 5:50 pm

Disk? OR Disc?

Are we back in the floppy disk days? Or dvd disc days?

Ross Lincoln

On April 30, 2012 at 5:57 pm

Yeahyeahyeah. Thanks for catching that typo. Fixed.

Evan

On April 30, 2012 at 6:18 pm

It is possible to download PS2 games on the PSN, though the selection is rather limited at this point.

Evan

On April 30, 2012 at 7:12 pm

You can buy PS2 games on the PSN, the selection is just limited at this point.

Axetwin

On May 1, 2012 at 12:53 am

“Hopefully, this is a hint that Microsoft isn’t planning for the Xbox 720 to be a used-games killer.”

I disagree, I think this is M$ tipping their hats and letting us know that they plan on continuing the trend of external harddrives for the 720. They may be alot of things, but entirely stupid is not one of them. They know that if they were to start down the road of digital download only and still expected the consumer to shell out an additional 300 bucks for a HDD ontop of the price of the console, noone would buy their product.

As for: “And for the record, Microsoft is still better than Sony on one aspect of this issue: You can actually get Xbox era games for download on 360. It is still not possible to download Playstation 2 games on PSN, and that, my friends, is total bullsh*t.”

I would say M$ is only marginally better. The list of backwards compatible OXB games does not cover 100% of the released titles AND of those not backwards compatible, only a very small percentage are available as a digital download.

Keese

On May 1, 2012 at 5:38 am

But the PSN does let you buy PS2 Games on it. Granted, there are only around ten right now, but it’s a slowly growing catalog. They just put up Persona 3 a few weeks back.

Mr Glassback

On May 1, 2012 at 6:53 am

I would NEVER buy a digital download at the same price as a retail copy. I know digital distribution has it’s own costs to deliver but to save money on discs, cases, transport and a retailers cut and then not pass any of that cost reduction onto the customer is beyond a joke to me.
Add in DRM as an extra pain in the arse for digital downloads and the whole concept seems highly flawed from a customer point of view.